Community and Commitment
In October 2014, on its second assessment trip to Hato Rincon, the EWB-DC CREER Panama Project had a very busy week of technical data collection, committee meetings, and coordination. Being the beginning of the rainy season, the team endured heavy rains each afternoon that were deafening underneath the corrugated steel roofs and drowning when out in the field. Every evening, the rain would be replaced by thick fog so dense it was as if the team was walking through clouds, blinding anyone who wore glasses and making the use of flashlights difficult. A long week, to be sure. At the end of every day when the team was done for the night, long after nightfall, full of rice and beans and freshly showered, everyone just wanted to crawl into their sleeping bags in the tent.
Despite this, the team would stay up late every night playing games, speaking in broken Spanglish, or just joking around with the kids from the community. Several of the older kids had learned English and were eager to practice, while others used chess or checkers as a common language, with no idea what their opponent was saying to his or her friends. As word spread, the crowd grew larger with each successive night such that by the end of the trip there was a veritable party with music, snacks, and even some adults joining the team. There was no engineering to bedone after dark, but the team stayed up because they love what they do.
These nightly cultural exchanges embody the commitment that each and every EWB-USA project has to their community. While all three of the EWB-DC teams work year-round to uphold that commitment, we hope that you’ll consider a similar commitment to humanitarian engineering by donating to EWB-DC during this month of holidays and celebration. Personal donations comprise a significant portion of our fundraising endeavors and we count on them to continue developing high quality, sustainable solutions with our partner communities. Thank you for your support, and check out our website to hear about the other great things going on at EWB-DC.